Aidan Fitzpatrick and Nick Mattingly are leaders in the effort to provide improved tools for anyone to engage visually with better imaging and powerful live video streaming and creation technologies.
Fitzpatrick’s Reincubate developed Camo, software capable of providing broadcast-level video quality from your smartphone. Mattingly’s Switcher Studio brings a suite of tools to the iPhone which add production visuals real-time, as video content is streaming. A recent agreement put the two together, like the venerable Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercial.
The pandemic has super-charged the need for better, affordable and accessible video and imaging resources. This partnership delivers the next evolution of quality in imaging and digital connection. Yes, like peanut butter and chocolate, each of these technologies can stand on their own. Combine them and they are an entirely new experience.
Collaboration equals opportunity
Significant portions of the world are moving online. Remote or hybrid work models has progressed from “how do we do this” to “how do we do without it”. The same can be said for the classroom. Other interactions are quickly realizing both the potential and the necessity. New tools will improve this dynamic of interacting from across the city or across the country.
Mattingly believes the tools available in Switcher can add what were once primarily post-production elements in video streaming creation, while removing cost barriers. Camo’s tech offers a similar boon to streamers, providing access to high-resolution video images at a more affordable price point. (There is a free option, as well.)
Combining the two seemed to be an obvious step forward to both CEOs. In the process, they saw possibilities open up.
“We approached Switcher with the thesis of, ‘Hey, we built this thing and we think it’s really valuable for other people as well as us and maybe there’s a way you can take advantage of it,’” Fitzpatrick said. “This is a big, big space [and] there is a huge amount of value in building close partnerships with other thought leaders.”
Just like peanut butter and chocolate.
Outsourcing, focusing on your strengths, and standing on the shoulders of giants
Fitzpatrick said the collaboration begins to fill in the “dead space” between complex enterprise systems and limited mobile tools.
“The technology exists for that space not to exist,” Fitzpatrick said. “The best web cam on the market won’t come close to what your smartphone can do, both in terms of hardware and software, but also in terms of the research and development behind the tech. Every year, Apple spends more on R&D for their image sensors than webcam companies make, all put together.”
The Ripple Effect: Building on Existing Tech
A smart partnership allows companies like Reincubate and Switcher to capitalize on the millions Apple (and similar companies) spend on R&D. They can also benefit from their partner’s spends on their own products. This ripple effect improves the ability to focus on their strengths while offering more options for the end user. Mattingly predicted this partnership and many others could ride these ripples to bring solutions to market more quickly.
“We’re at a place where you have access to the same tools as the big guys,” Mattingly said. “[This type of technology] allows non-video professionals to participate in the process. You’re able to empower people across the organization to create content.”
Leveling the Field
Mattingly points out video streaming is still relatively new, launching in 2016 on Facebook. The idea of every business accessing live video streaming to interact with their current and potential customers can be both overwhelming and aspirational.
Decades ago, corporations would create hero videos for their brand. They were a massive investment in time and resources, with long schedules and extensive post-production work. Streaming has provided a wealth of new options for consumer touchpoints. Creators in the boardroom to the basement can capture content in the moment and be interactive with their audience.
Opportunities can come with framing the videos as an event and as a chance to engage with end users, whether customers, patients, students, co-workers, players, worshippers… the list goes on.
There is also a different expectation between live video and a more formally-produced segment. Live video streaming tends to receive a more forgiving response from – and an increased opportunity to interact with – the audience.
“I think [everyone tapping into live streaming opportunities] could happen … but this idea of having one more thing to do is really daunting,” Mattingly said. “There are a lot of reasons to say no or never start in the first place, but, with live video, there is this opportunity to capture things in the moment [and] as soon as you’re done, you can get back to work or make another piece of content.”
Developers like Switcher and Reincubate don’t have much control over where the technology is headed. However, they, and their customers, can benefit from the leaps forward created by hardware giants and the software used to control those devices. Both Fitzpatrick and Mattingly were unabashedly excited about what they are seeing on the horizon, including augmented reality, the cinematic mode for iPhone 13, low light handling, depth-sensing hardware, and volumetric video.
The next software-driven leap forward in the video streaming world may have something to do with these innovations or something else entirely. Mattingly sees a market for pairing video technology with devices not normally associated with cameras. He’s holding out for the smart microwave, which senses what you put in it and cooks it according your preferences.
If Mattingly and Fitzpatrick can see beyond the horizon, they’re playing their cards close to the vest, microwave aspirations notwithstanding. The past 24 months have shown a remarkable shift in how live video streaming technology can be used and who can bring content to market.
“If there is a good story to tell, in some cases, it doesn’t matter what it looks like,” Mattingly said. “The leading networks in America had the leading late night hosts making content from home … over Zoom-like platforms with webcams and put it on television. You have access to the same tools and technology and can produce things as good or better.”